Prospect of Interest: The 411 on Sam Steel

General managers from around the NHL comment on the importance of the 2016 NHL Draft.

This 2016 NHL prospect has the goods. He’s a leader, a playmaker, a player with the potential to be a top-six forward on any NHL team.

Sam Steel—nicknamed “the Man of Steel”—won’t overwhelm you with his strength, but he’ll impress you with his speed and dazzle you with his skill.

Here’s a detailed look at how Steel has developed into one of Canada’s most promising young players.

Age on June 24: 18
Current Team: Regina Pats, WHL
Position: Centre
Shoots: Left
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 176 pounds
From: Edmonton, Alta.
Twitter: @ssteel23
NHL Central Scouting Rank (North America): 30th

Jeff Marek’s Take: A two-way, responsible player. Scouts wonder if he has the speed and creativity for the pro level to compensate for lack of size.

Faster than a speeding bullet…
Speed has become the most essential attribute to own, and Steel has it in spades.

“Sam Steel is an outstanding skater with strong speed and great acceleration,” writes Ben Kerr of “He is smooth on his skates and also shows outstanding edge work and agility. Once he gets a step on a defender, he’s gone.”

A natural playmaker…
The most common thread in all the reports on Steel is that his vision and hockey sense make him one of the best passing threats in Canadian hockey.

“A true puck-possession forward that makes his teammates better with creative passes and a phenomenal understanding of the game,” reads the scouting report at
ISS Hockey adds that Steel is a “natural playmaker with excellent vision and able to find his teammates through seams in the ice, even under pressure.”

Steel’s ability was evident as he posted 23 goals and 47 assists for 70 points in 72 games with Regina this season. He added six goals and 10 assists in the team’s 12-game playoff run.

The rink is his home…
They say a proper education starts at home, and Steel developed his hockey acumen on the most pristine backyard rink imaginable. He built it with his dad, and it’s made to NHL spec. It even has a heated dressing room beside it.

“I’m definitely from a hockey family,” Steel told Kelly Friesen of Yahoo Sports. “I grew up with a big backyard rink and used to skate on it all the time. I started playing hockey at like three years old and it’s a game my family loves.”

Sam’s teammates held a practice at the family rink in 2015.

Coping with loss…
Steel’s brother Patrick, a promising Junior A player, died unexpectedly at 18 years old in 2011. He suffered heart failure in his sleep.

Now Steel plays to honour the memory of his older brother.

“Losing my brother was something that changed my life immensely,” Sam told the Edmonton Sun. “It’s something that’s always in my mind. I’m just trying to make him proud.”

A leader and a champion…
The second-overall pick in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft is an assistant captain with the Pats.

Steel has also participated in two World Hockey Challenges and was a member of the 2016 Canadian entry to the Ivan Hlinka tournament.

Ranked 30th among North American prospects by NHL Central Scouting, the only thing that may prevent Steel from going in the first round of the draft is his size. But he’s got all the qualities of a future NHLer.

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